Samir Nasri has finally put almost six months of frustration behind him and could return to action this weekend against Bournemouth.
The French play-maker has been sorely missed since tearing his muscle in a freak injury during training last October.
However, a fully recharged and refreshed Nasri will hand the Blues a welcome boost in the remaining weeks of the season.
“It’s impossible to say where your fitness is at accurately,” he said. “The only way to find out is by playing matches and the more you play, the quicker your fitness will return to normal levels.
“It’s been five-and-a half-months and all I need now is playing time. I feel good in five-a-side, with ball possession and we’ve had a couple of games against the EDS – it was hard and I was a bit tired afterwards – but I’m ready for everything now. recent poor form mean City can ill-afford to drop many more points this season with Champions League qualification far from guaranteed.
Nasri believes Bournemouth away is one of the toughest fixtures the Blues could face after the international break.
“I have a lot of respect for Bournemouth because they play good football,” he said.
“Even when they were struggling, at the start of the season they were still playing a certain type of football and at home, they are really dangerous.
“Away, they are more manageable but it’s really difficult to go to their ground and play – especially after an international break and with there being just three days before the first Champions League quarter-final this Club has played in - it’s going to be anything but easy for us.
“We used to do well at Craven Cottage which was also a fairly small ground, but we still had a good record there.
“I think teams like Bournemouth play better on tighter pitches because teams like us can exploit space on bigger pitches better by keeping the ball and dictating the game.
“Games at smaller stadiums tend to be more aggressive with the home fans right on top of you. It’s going to be tough, but we have no choice – we have to win because if we don’t we could drop out of the Champions League places and we can’t allow that to happen.”